Seven Things Which Can FAIL You In An Interview [TIPS]


1. Don’t Be Late To the Interview

Even if you car broke down or the subway derailed, do everything you can to get to that job interview on time.

“If you have a legitimate excuse it’s still hard to bounce back,” says Pamela Skillings, co-founder of job coaching firm Skillful Communications. “People are suspicious because they hear the same excuses all the time.”

On the flip side, you don’t want to show up too early and risk appearing desperate, but you do want to be there at least five minutes early or at the very least on time.

2. Don’t Show Up Unprepared

It seems simple, but countless people go on job interviews knowing very little about the company they are interviewing with when all it would take is a simple Google search to find out. As a result, they end up asking obvious questions, which signal to the interviewer that they are too lazy to prepare.

“Don’t ask if the company is public or private, how long it’s been in business and where they do their manufacturing,” says Mark Jaffe, president of Wyatt & Jaffe, the executive search firm. “Sharpen your pencil before you go to school.”

3. Don’t Ask About Salary, Benefits, Perks

Your initial interview with a company shouldn’t be about what the company can do for you, but what you can do for the company. Which means the interview isn’t the time to ask about the severance package, vacation time or health plan. Instead you should be selling yourself as to why the company can’t live without you.

“Your interest should be about the job and what your responsibilities will be,” says Terry Pile, Principal Consultant of Career Advisors. “Asking about vacation, sick leave, 401K, salary and benefits should be avoided at all costs.”

4. Don’t Focus On Future Roles Instead Of The Job At Hand

The job interview is not the time or place to ask about advancement opportunities or how to become the CEO. You need to be interested in the job you are actually interviewing for. Sure, a company wants to see that you are ambitious, but they also want assurances you are committed to the job you’re being hired for.

“You can’t come with an agenda that this job is just a stepping stone to bigger and better things,” says Jaffe.

5. Don’t Turn The Weakness Question Into A Positive

To put it bluntly, interviewers are not idiots. So when they ask you about a weakness and you say you work too hard or you are too much of a perfectionist, chances are they are more apt to roll their eyes than be blown away. Instead, be honest and come up with a weakness that can be improved on and won’t ruin your chances of getting a job.

For instance, if you are interviewing for a project management position, it wouldn’t be wise to say you have poor organizational skills, but it’s ok to say you want to learn more shortcuts in Excel. “Talk about the skills you don’t have that will add value, but aren’t required for the job,” says Pile.

6. Don’t Lie

Many people think its ok to exaggerate their experience or fib about a firing on a job interview, but lying can be a surefire way not to get hired. Even if you get through the interview process with your half truths, chances are you won’t be equipped to handle the job you were hired to do. Not to mention the more you lie the more likely you are to slip up.

“Don’t exaggerate, don’t make things bigger than they are and don’t claim credit for accomplishments you didn’t do,” says Jaffe. “You leave so much room in your brain if you don’t have to fill it with which lie you told which person.”

7. Don’t Ask If There’s Any Reason You Shouldn’t Be Hired

Well meaning career experts will tell you to close your interview by asking if there is any reason you wouldn’t be hired. While that question can give you an idea of where you stand and afford you the opportunity to address any concerns, there’s no guarantee the interviewer is going to be truthful with you or has even processed your information enough to even think about that.

Thanks to Glassdoor.com

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How To Take Control of Your Next Job Interview [TIPS]


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At the end of every job interview, you’ll encounter the inevitable question, “Do you have any questions for me?”

While it’s an oh-so-predictable event, many job candidatesaren’t prepared to shine when they reach this final test in the interview. Failing to ask any questions or asking the wrong questions can send the wrong signals.

Stephanie Daniel, senior vice president of career management company Keystone Associates, spoke with us about her thoughts on how job interviewees can take control of their next job interview by asking the right questions. Read on for her thoughts on what to ask and which questions to avoid when it’s your turn to interrogate.

Asking Right Questions


When the interviewer gives you the opportunity to ask your own questions, be prepared. Daniel recommends that interviewees prepare five to seven questions, with the expectation that there will probably only be time to ask just three. “Keep in mind that some of the questions you might have prepared will be answered during the course of the interview, so it’s always a smart idea to have back-ups,” says Daniel.

“Too many job seekers respond to this standard interview question with the standard ‘safe’ responses,” says Daniel. “‘Will I be hearing from you or should I contact you?’ or ‘Why is this position open?’ In this very competitive job market, job candidates cannot afford to ask safe questions. Candidates must show that they are the best candidate by demonstrating that they are looking out for the needs and interests of the interviewer.”

So, what types of questions should you ask? Daniel suggests considering a few of the following:

  • Is there a work issue that keeps you up at night and, given what you know about my background, how do you think I could help?

“Here’s your opportunity to demonstrate a genuine interest in the day-to-day challenges your future manager is facing, Daniel explains. “By asking this question, the interviewer will start to envision you as an employee and will give you some initial thoughts on how you might help solve their most pressing problems.”

  • What is the most gratifying aspect of the work you do for XYZ company? What’s your best advice to someone starting out at this company?

“Asking the interviewer about the most gratifying aspect of the work she or he does helps you better understand what drives them,” Daniel explains. “Drivers include things like making the best product on the market, helping others, making money, curing an illness or creating a hot, new technology, etc. Ask yourself how the interviewer’s drivers align with your own. The answer to the ‘best advice’ question yields valuable insights on what behaviors lead to a successful transition into the company. It gives you clues on what you can do to put your best forward in your potential new role vis-à-vis building new relationships, gaining product knowledge, and avoiding potential pitfalls.”

  • Could you describe your ideal candidate for this job? Why are these qualities important to you?

“The ideal qualifications were probably outlined in the job posting,” says Daniel. “But many of these postings are not actually written by the hiring manager. Here’s your chance to directly ask the interviewer what he views as the most important qualities of the successful candidate and why.”

  • I’m sure you have a number of goals you’d like to achieve in the coming year. Do you have a particular one that is top priority?

“This question allows you to turn your attention to the interviewer and his most important priorities,” says Daniel. “Is there a particular goal the interviewer has talked about that lines up well with some of your current experiences? If so, let the interviewer know how you can contribute.”

Other great questions may revolve around key drivers for employees, what characterizes top performers at the company and whether the interviewer would like to know anything more about the interviewee’s background, says Daniel.


Avoiding Questions with Negative Connotations


To avoid making a bad impression at your interview, Daniel suggests thinking about the connotations behind each of the questions that you’re asking before you ask them. Here are three questions that tend to leave a bad taste in interviewers’ mouths, she says:

“A valid question, yes, but if you ask it too soon, it might appear that you are more concerned about the work schedule than you are about the actual work,” says Daniel.

  • Is there a possibility I could work remotely?

Telecommuting can be a positive thing for both the job seeker and the company, but your timing in asking this question is critical,” Daniel explains. “If asked too soon, it will convey a lack of enthusiasm for getting to know the team and work environment. Demonstrate your interest in the role and potential contributions to the company before inquiring about telecommuting/flex-time, etc.”

  • How long do people typically stay in this position before they move on the next role?

“A desire to grow in the organization is admirable,” says Daniel. “But if you’re asking this question early on in the interview process, the interviewer may question your genuine interest in the position you’ve applied for. Frame the question in a way that demonstrates both your long-term commitment to the company and your professional growth.”


Preparing and Managing Time


Once you’ve chosen which questions you’d like to ask, you can either memorize them or write them down. Daniel advises:

“It is not unprofessional to bring a list of questions on paper. If you choose to write them down, make sure you bring them in a presentable notebook or folder, not on a crinkled, loose-leaf sheet of paper. Presentation is very important. That said, make a conscious effort to remember the questions so that you don’t have to rely on your notes. Opening a notebook can be somewhat distracting, and what’s even worse is reading the questions verbatim without making eye contact with the interviewer.”

Once you’ve finished asking all that you’d like to ask, it’s important to close an interview on a good notes, says Daniel. “Rather than fretting about running out of questions, take the left-over time to thank your interviewer and let him or her know how much you’re interested in the position. Cite specifics about why and briefly reiterate a key point about your background that relates to the position. This is called the ‘close,’ and it’s a critical phase of the interview.”

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Reference: http://mashable.com/2011/11/20/job-interview-tips/

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